Archive for June, 2011

It was a few weeks ago that I was heading down the front steps of our house to return a folding chair to its storage place in the garage when at that exact moment I looked up to find a Google Streetview camera car passing by on its southbound way down our street. So I waved.

I remember checking a couple weeks later, but the Streetview image that was still available was from at least two years ago. Then on a lark I checked this morning, and well… would ya look at that (click it for the bigger picture):

In a way I guess you can say I’ve been Googled.

A couple doors further down when zoomed in you can vaguely find me just about to enter the garage with my cargo:

Oddly, the image in the middle of these two shows the garage door fully down and me nowhere to be found. Now ya see me. Now ya don’t.

A small butterfly of unknown species, landed and less than a couple tenths of a second later, aloft (click them for the bigger pictures):

Every year around this time the scraggly gangly malnourished magnolia tree growing (and I use “growing” in its sickliest sense) on the parkway in front of our house surprises me with a nice crop of blossoms. And every year around this time when one opens in just the right place I’ll park myself on the roof of the garage with the 70-300 lens on our 6-year-old Canon Rebel not caring who of my neighbors or passersby sees me and perhaps wonders why I’m sitting in the beating late-morning sun with a camera pointed at a scraggly gangly malnourished magnolia tree, just so I can get a shot like this (click it for the bigger picture).

(click it for the bigger picture)

Thursday’s LA Times brought to my attention the 8th-Annual Ojai Valley Lavender Festival, and it didn’t take much convincing to get Susan on board for a daytrip out that gorgeous way.

The festival itself took place in Ojai’s Libbey Park and featured scores and scores of vendors selling just about anything and everything lavender-related. Afterward we explored the shops within the arcade across the street and had lunch before paying  a visit to New Oak Ranch where for $5 they set Susan and me up with pairs of clippers and let us wade out into a fragrant breeze-blown sea of the stuff clipping our own bunches of fresh lavender.

Susan’s wanderings brought her into contact with a rabbit and some quail. The only thing I got close to were the many busy bees, and it was somewhere in the midst of my cutting that I put down the clippers and got the above close-up of that hardworker.

Afterwards we came back through the village and out the other side, stopping briefly to check-out Lake Casitas before venturing to Highway 33 and the 101 south back home.

A Flickr set of other pix from the excursion can be viewed here.

It was briefly. VERY briefly. And to say “met” is to grossly exaggerate. “Met” implies an exchange of words, maybe a handshake… an assessment. My meeting Peter Falk consisted of him looking at me somewhat dubiously from the front door of his house just south of Sunset in Beverly Hills and me looking back at him from the driver seat of my 1965 primer-coated Mustang parked at the curb across the street. Between us was his daughter Jackie walking away from him and toward me. It was 1982. My senior year at Beverly. Her senior year, too, but I don’t think she graced the same halls I mostly skulked and slunked through.

For the life of me I can’t remember the particulars of how it came to be that I somehow managed to convince his daughter Jackie to go out with me. I don’t think there was begging involved, but there could’ve been. Such amnesia is disturbing because I had a desperately lousy batting average with dating through my years in high school, and with such little success you’d think I’d actually be able to recall all the details of this one positive standing out in a forest of rejection and unrequitedness. Especially since Jackie was a babe — and had a famous dad.

But such is my middle-aged mind, scrubbed of those details.

What I do remember of the date was that a few hours later after whatever dinner we had and whatever movie we saw, I was parked in the same exact spot only this time returning her home. We sat for a few moments reflecting on what fun we both had and on impulse I went to steal a kiss and she arrested me with a deft turn of her pretty cheek.

I sat back and saw out of the corner of my eye that she was looking at the house before getting out of the car and saying goodnight. I got the sense that maybe Jackie’s dad was watching — but not from an open front door this time. And not that his observing might have been the cause of her deflection. She just wasn’t that interested, as evidenced by the fact that there wasn’t a second date.

But if he was watching, I hope that he was relieved I wasn’t the scoundrel he might have initially thought me to be.

Rest in peace, Peter Falk.

And just one more thing: Coincidentally, Jackie wasn’t the only daughter of a famous TV detective (and later infinitely more infamous in real life), who I crushed on and dated — and just about as briefly. About four years later while in my first apartment in Van Nuys I met Robert Blake’s daughter Deli when she was visiting a girlfriend of hers living in the same building as me.

Just an update on the planter boxes I suspended from the south steps’ handrail. On June 11 it looked like this:

And this afternoon, it’s looking like this, full of baby basil and cilantro and sunflowers:

I’ve totally overpopulated it, but it’s certainly a purty thang to look at.

(click for better readability)

I love finding random stuff. Some litterbug’s trash is my momentary treasure. Even moreso when it’s just chock-full of unintentional irony, such as this second page of a brief scene discovered this morning in the gutter in front of our house. Why ironic? Well, being someone who makes valiant attempts to minimize the use of my automobile I found the stuff in one of its car-cultcha characters, Russell, ‘fessing up to something of an addiction to excessive driving (though it’s probably a lie to cover up what he’s actually doing). To further the fun, it looks as if the page has been tread upon by a vehicle tire.

Perhaps these were sides used in an audition for this unfunded yet purportedly upcoming Silverlake [sic] 90026 pilot?

If so and otherwise just for the hella, here’s an audio of me undertaking not one but both deeply dramatic roles: